Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Issue of Accountability

I hope actually in the time you’re here (Air Command and Staff College) you really do chew on this and have some healthy debates and discussions about it – is the whole issue of accountability. It’s how I grew up, it’s why I stayed in, it’s why I love command. And there isn’t anybody at any level of seniority that wouldn’t tell you, you know, that their worst day in command was better than any other day they had anywhere else, and that their worst day in command, some days, you know, there was a hand that reached in to save their careers and they got lucky.

That said, we are accountable for our commands at every level, and that message is very important. That’s a very important message right back to – and I’ll speak specifically to the chiefs’ position, and having been a chief of a service, I do understand that. And when you lose that accountability, when accountable officers don’t step forward and say, it’s my command, okay, and my command – in Navy terminology – is aground, and when you are aground, you know, you walk off the brow. That’s the rule. We know that. So the accountability aspect of all that is also really important.

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